top of page
  • Charles Comenos

5 Steps to a High-Performing Website

Whether you’re planning a complete website refresh or simply trying to optimize an existing website, here are some best practices that you can employ to increase traffic, connect with visitors more effectively, and get them to take the action that you want them to take.


Step 1: Define Your Goals and Metrics

You can’t measure and optimize a metric that you haven’t set! Whether you're an IT services, engineering company, or architecture company, you need to pick quantifiable goals to focus your website optimization efforts.


Where do you want visitors to

  • Improve brand visibility through content marketing and SEO

  • Generate new leads through high-value “lead magnets”

  • Convert more website traffic and leads into sales

  • Improve customer satisfaction and increase upsell opportunities


Whichever goal you set for your website, make sure that it’s SMART, meaning Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based. This help ensures accountability and focus. When you achieve those goals, it also helps keep morale high.


Step 2: Dig Deep Into Your Buyer Personas

A well-developed buyer persona is critical to not just a well-functioning website. However, even in 2024 most companies are basing important marketing decisions on poor persona data.


A good buyer persona isn’t just a name, job title, company size, and some biographical data; it should tell you how, when, and why a buyer decides to do business with you at every stage in the buying journey.


The method that's promoted by the buyer persona institute (BPI), where I do my buy persona studies, uses double-blind approach to 30-minute interviews with at least 10 respondents who have recently made a purchase decision for your exact service.


We break the insights from those interviews into 5 categories.


  • Priority initiative is what causes your persona to prioritize your service now

  • Success factors that will help your persona feel good about a purchase

  • Perceived barriers that cause your persona to choose your competitors

  • Decision criteria and capabilities your persona judges as they move along the buyer journey

  • Buyer's journey are the actual steps that

 

If you're trying to develop messaging that truly resonates with your prospects, we think the Buyer Persona institute (www.buyerpsona.com) is a great place to start. Their website has some great resources to help you develop more thorough personas.


Step 3: Quantitative Analysis – The SEO Audit

Conduct an SEO audit of your existing website to see which pages are attracting the most attention and which are underperforming. While you’ll need days (or weeks) to audit a larger site, small websites will be much easier to audit.


If you've never done this before, this guide from SEMrush is a good start. If you haven't setup Google Search Console and Google Analytics, now is a good time to do that as well.


Let's start in Google Search Console, it's super easy! Once it's connected to your website and open it up, you'll see a page like this:


Here, you'll see a list of the search terms that your site is ranking for currently. Cool right? Any traffic coming from unexpected places? This can be a great way to gather intelligence about how people are currently finding your site.


Moving to the right from the "Queries" tab, you explore other aspects of your site's traffic. The most important is pages, where can see where visitors land first on your site from Google.

Do you have an SEO tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush to dig in really deep? addition to what you see here, you’ll also want to take a close look at some of these overlooked SEO factors. We'll discuss how to get the most of those tools in a separate piece of using SEO tools.


Step 4: Qualitative Analysis – Competitor and Messaging Audits

Messaging audits ensure that you’re approaching visitors and prospects with key phrases that stand out from the competition and compel them to learn more.


The simplest way run a messaging audit is to identify 10 key competitors in your market and put all their website headlines in a spreadsheet next to each other.

  • What are they using as headline text for their sites?

  • Are there phrases that you see repeated throughout the main pages of the site?

  • What phrases do you find particularly compelling?

For businesses that want to approach their marketing with greater consistency, you may wish to build a comprehensive messaging framework. This one document houses all the important verbiage that your company will use in its marketing efforts.


A messaging matrix usually includes the following elements

  • Brand Voice Brand voice is the unique personality that your brand presents to the world. It must run consistently through all your communications (social media, website, blog posts, emails, advertisements) no matter which teams are handling which channels, and it mustn’t change.

  • Value Proposition A value proposition gives an overview of the benefits your product or service offers.

  • Unique Selling Proposition Whereas the value proposition is about WHAT you offer to the customer, the USP is about HOW the way you offer it differs from the competition. It's a customer-facing statement of differentiation from the competition. It should be assertive, specific, and defensible.

  • Mission Statement A mission statement tells people why your brand does what it does. It's used to shape and communicate a company's culture and to clarify the values that drive it.

  • Positioning statement  Positioning statement is a short phrase that defines your brand, product, or service. Unlike a mission statement, the positioning statement is internally facing. It should encompass, who you serve, the value you offer, how you position your offer, why you're in business, and what makes you different from the competition. 

All the information gleaned from these two types of analysis should provide ample fuel for a major round of optimization.


Step 5: Put Your Homepage to Work

Your homepage is the most important part of your website, so take the time to organize and present the information there with particular care. This is especially true of the “above the fold” section, as it’s responsible for attracting visitors deeper into your site.



Let's take our website as an example:


  • Talk to your client (not about yourself) See the website from the visitor’s perspective. Too many companies waste their homepage on bland marketing hype. Instead, look at the website through the eyes of your customer and try to resonate on a deeper, more emotional level. We tried to do that with our headline, which gets straight to the point about what we do.

  • Present meaningful calls to action (CTAs) What do you want visitors to your site to do after they arrive? It's important to spend time crafting CTAs and content that will motivate them to learn more about your services.

  • Use Whitespace Wisely You want to make your website easy for people to understand and navigate. Keep your hero focused on conversion and legible by eliminating clutter. That means economize on text and let your copy have room to breath on the page.


 

 

 

 

 

 

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

5 Tips for More Impactful Lead Magnets

Most effective content marketing strategies involve gathering prospects’ contact information in exchange for high-quality, high-value content — also known as “lead magnets.” Because of their central r

7 Ways to Make a More Impactful Case Study

When done right, case studies are highly effective content marketing tools that help you build trust and a better defined identity in your local market. If you're going to spend the time and effort to

bottom of page